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Smart ways to save for a house or condo

(NC) With Canada’s housing market hotter than ever, saving up a down payment can feel impossible. But wise spending and saving decisions can add up over time. Here, Vanessa Bowen, money expert and accountant, offers simple yet effective ways to save for the home you’ve had your eye on.

Ensure you have a good credit score
A better credit score means that you can qualify for lower interest rates and loans that you may require when investing in a future property. Working to improve your overall credit score, such as by avoiding late bill payments, will help make your savings go further as you look towards purchasing the house or condo of your dreams.

Contribute lump-sum payments to your savings
Large annual payments such as a work bonus or your tax return can be added as lump-sum contributions to your savings. Contributing larger sums helps you reach your end-goal more quickly, so remember to save these payments. It’s money you don’t count on in your day to day anyway, so it’ll be easier to set aside and watch your savings steadily grow.

Switch to a no-fee bank account
A small step that you can take that will add up to big savings in the long run is switching to a no-fee bank account. The PC Money Account is the bank account reimagined with no monthly fees and opportunities to earn PC Optimum Points on every dollar spent everywhere you shop. Now, instead of having to pay monthly banking fees, you can put your hard-earned money towards saving up for a house or condo.

Cut down on unnecessary spending
Try cutting back on expenses such as takeout food and shopping for things you may not actually need, like subscription services. Instead, put this money, which could potentially add up to thousands each year, towards a significant investment opportunity, such as a future home.

 
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For Sale - 12915 82 ST in Edmonton

I have listed a property at 12915 82 ST in Edmonton.

Use the link below for more information and to book a showing.

See details here

Welcome to this great, affordable, home in the community of Balwin. As you walk up to the front door, you'll see the yard is beautifully maintained with a nice lawn and flower beds. Windows throughout have all been upgraded to vinyl. And, the shingles, furnace, hot water tank have all been replaced. The main floor features the living room, kitchen and dining room, with large windows letting in plenty of natural light. There is a door leading to a side concrete patio and the fully-fenced back yard, as well as the oversize single garage. Upstairs, there are 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom. Downstairs, the basement is unfinished, ready to make it what you want. The home is conveniently located across from shopping, restaurants and more, with quick, easy access to Yellowhead. Come, take a look. Don't miss this opportunity.

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Testing your well water: What you need to know

(NC) There’s nothing like a cold, refreshing glass of water. But if it comes from a well, you will want to make sure it’s safe.

Your well water should be free of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites that may cause disease, and from chemicals at levels that may be a risk to your health.

If you have a private well, you should have the water tested to see if there are any problems. Your most important tests look for certain bacteria that tell you there may be disease-causing microorganisms in your water. You should test for these bacteria (E. coli and total coliforms) every six months.

There are also other tests for chemicals and general water quality. Your provincial or territorial drinking water authority or local public health unit can help direct you on what you should test for, how often to test and suggest an accredited laboratory that can do the tests. It’s also a good idea to test your water if you notice changes in taste, smell, colour or in land uses or activities, such as construction, near your well.

Follow all instructions from the accredited laboratory on completing and submitting the test forms; collecting, labeling and storing the sample; and handling and transporting the sample to the laboratory.

The best time to sample your well water is when there is the greatest chance of contamination:

• early spring just after the thaw,
• in the fall rainy season,
• after a long dry spell or drought,
• after heavy rains or floods, and
• after the well has not been used for a long period of time.

Check your well record to find out how deep your well is and learn about the geology in your area. Shallow wells or wells that have only a thin layer of soil over rock can become contaminated more easily. Water in these wells needs to be tested more often.

If you or a family member has had a gastrointestinal illness and suspect that it might be related to drinking your well water, speak to your doctor and local health unit and have your water tested.

Find more information at canada.ca by searching the keywords “well aware.”

 
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For Sale - 309 8604 Gateway BLVD in Edmonton

I have listed a property at 309 8604 Gateway BLVD in Edmonton.

Use the link below for more information and to book a showing.

See details here

Welcome to this beautifully-renovated, third-floor, condo located in the heart of Strathcona. Renos include new paint, vinyl plank flooring throughout, modern kitchen cabinets and countertops, new built-in dishwasher and microwave hood fan, under-cabinet lighting, tile backsplash, sink/faucet and more. The suite even has a built-in air conditioner unit to keep you cool in the summer. The spacious west-facing living room lets in plenty of natural light and patio doors lead to the large balcony. There's nothing to do here but move in and enjoy. This well-managed building includes an elevator and your low condo fees include heat, water and even electricity. And talk about location! You're walking distance to Whyte Ave, the River Valley, U of A and all the annual festivals and events and farmers market that Old Strathcona offers. You also have easy access to public transportation and the downtown core. Don't miss this fantastic opportunity!

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How to design your dream DIY reno

(NC) If you’ve spent the last several months daydreaming about your ideal renovation project, you’re not alone. Whether it’s a reno for a new kitchen, your own spa bathroom, a basement media room or a beautiful backyard oasis, there’s no shortage of dreams to take on.

Here are a few tips to make your vision a reality:

Spend time planning ahead. 
The more you think about your project before you begin, the better you’ll understand your wants, needs and priorities.

A great place to start is thinking about why you’re doing this project in the first place. Is it to create more space? Add functionality? Freshen up décor? These questions will help you make the right decisions during your project.

Know when to call in the pros. 
Many home reno projects might seem DIY, such as laying tiles and flooring. But for anything structural, mechanical or electrical, it’s best to hire a properly licensed professional. You don’t want to cause any fires or leaks that could lead to more time-consuming and costly damage to you or your home.

Save on splurge-worthy finishing touches. 
Add creature comforts and finishing touches that make completing your renovation all the more rewarding. From a luxurious Nespresso espresso machine, to the perfect Cuisinart kitchen gadgets, to that coveted Napoleon barbecue, you can use Air Miles Reward Miles to save big on must-have items for your newly renovated space.

Find more information at rewards.airmiles.ca/merchandise.

 
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